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Environmental Health Perspectives

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Featured Children’s Health Articles

From the EHP Editors

Phenols are used in everyday products. These compounds, which have short half-lives, can be endocrine disruptors, with fetal exposures being a particular concern. But urinary concentrations of phenols during pregnancy must be measured accurately to get a clear description of the exposure. Vernet et al. devised a sampling strategy to assess variability within one day, between days, and between weeks of 10 phenol biomarkers. Given that random spot urine sampling may produce misclassification of exposures, this sampling design should create a more reliable estimate of exposures throughout a pregnancy.

Photograph of pregnant women doing prenatal yoga
© shironosov/iStockphoto

Within-Day, Between-Day, and Between-Week Variability of Urinary Concentrations of Phenol Biomarkers in Pregnant Women

Photograph of a woman talking to a young child
© KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStockphoto

Air Toxics in Relation to Autism Diagnosis, Phenotype, and Severity in a U.S. Family-Based Study

From the EHP Editors

Exposures to metals and other environmental chemicals in ambient air have been associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in previous research. In a large cohort of multiplex families (those with two or more siblings who have an ASD diagnosis), Kalkbrenner et al. analyzed data on 155 air pollutants obtained from the U.S. EPA’s National-scale Air Toxics Assessment (NATA). They compared NATA data for selected years against the year closest to each child’s birth and identified both positive and negative associations between certain toxics and ASD diagnosis. Because ASD etiology has an environmental component, identifying relevant air toxic exposures could be a step toward reducing the severity of some autism symptoms.

Perinatal Air Pollutant Exposures and Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Children of Nurses’ Health Study II Participants
Perinatal Exposure to Traffic-Related Air Pollution and Autism Spectrum Disorders
Ambient Air Pollution and Autism in Los Angeles County, California
Residential Proximity to Freeways and Autism in the CHARGE Study
Air Pollution Exposure during Pregnancy and Childhood Autistic Traits in Four European Population-Based Cohort Studies: The ESCAPE Project

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